TEDxMonumento258 began as a collaboration between the organizers of TEDxSanDiego and TEDxTijuana in 2013. The basic idea was to conduct a cross-border TEDx event. Stages would be constructed on either side of the border and the program would consist of speakers alternating their talks; one on the U.S. side, followed by one on the Mexico side. Although a fence exists between these two countries, the fence is not solid, allowing attendees on each side to witness the talks taking place in the other country.

A number of names were considered for the event, but after a visit to Playas de Tijuana, where the border meets the Pacific Ocean, Boundary Monument 258 became the primary focus, with TEDxMonumento258 selected as the event title, along with the theme, Ideas Without Borders.

The significance of Monument 258 dates back to the point at which two countries – the United States and Mexico – were physically divided by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo that was signed on February 2, 1848. Since that time these two cities – San Diego and Tijuana – continued to grow, though under very different circumstances. This event seeks to understand the history of this binational region, the success achieved and challenges that remain between these two diverse cultures some 167 years later, and highlight the opportunities which are unfolding within this unique location, and the larger CaliBaja MegaRegion.

We hope the story of TEDxMonumento258 will serve as an inspiration to border areas around the world.